If you’ve been around for a while, you’ve read my rant about price fixing for wireless data rates in Canada. Since then, I’ve come across the wireless future website, and even though they most likely just want to get a piece of the action themselves, any competition will make it better for the consumer.
So, on to the story at hand… my cell phone started to die a few weeks ago, and I decided to go ahead and get a blackberry - just to use as a cell phone until such point that I could justify the data plan cost, or when their data plans became reasonably priced. That little endeavor is a whole different story, but here I am 3 weeks later with a working blackberry (sorta, the ‘d’ key sticks sometimes so I gotta get a replacement when they get more in stock, “go-go blackberry number 5!”).
I was content to use it without the data features, but last night I said to myself… “Self, why don’t you call Rogers and see if you can sweet-talk a deal out of them?” The short version of the story is: I was able to get them to drop $11 from my current bill and add 100 minutes of talk time, then give me 4 times the data on their basic data plan.
It did take a lot of talking, and I had to speak with three different departments. The voice guy was extremely helpful, and offered the $11 off and extra 100 minutes without me really having to say anything. I had him forward me to the data department, figuring if these guys won’t give me a deal, I’ll at least save $11 a month now.
For the Data plan, I was basically going on the fact that Bell and Telus offer four times the data for the same price. The data guy was a bit squirrely, he tried to give me this line about how their blackberries used less data and that’s why they were giving data. He kept changing his story (from “we have a larger datapipe, so that uses less data because it moves faster”, to “well, we compress our data” (who doesn’t?), and it was all shifty, so he finally gave up on that since he realized I wasn’t buying it. So, he finally said “let me see what I can do”. He told me they didn’t have a 4 meg plan, but he could give me 7 megs at $35. Not buying this for a second, I said I was looking for something in the basic plan price range ($25). So he hummed and hawed, then said, “actually there is a 4 meg plan for $25, but you’d have to go on a 3 year contract.” Hell would freeze over before I signed up for a 3 year contract (when was the last time you signed a 3 year contract and then later on said to yourself: “man, I’m really glad I signed that contract”), so I told him that wasn’t going to work. He said “just a second” again (at this point I’m reasonably sure he wasn’t actually doing anything but creating the appearance that he was doing something on his end) and offered it at a 1 year contract.
You gotta give them something I guess, but I’m still wondering if I had pushed it further whether they would’ve been willing to give me the plan without a contract. Oh well, I’ll find that out when I call in for a better deal next year!
Moral of the story: always, always, ALWAYS bargain. If they say no, you haven’t lost anything. If they say yes, you’ve saved money!